2015 is the UNESCO Year of Light, and on 25 September Aston University joins the celebrations with a day of talks, demonstrations and activities. The Library of Birmingham will be literally aglow, with opportunities to learn about the backbone of the internet, make music through laser beams and use optics to see what lurks in Birmingham’s canal water. Aston is home to one of Europe’s biggest schools of photonics, and this is a chance to hear about some of their research and see it in action.
As well as contributing various elements on the day – including a short film programme and light-bombing activities – Flatpack are also working with Aston on a new residency scheme. Throughout the summer interactive artist Chris Plant (Colour Burst) will be developing new ideas and work informed by the photonics research at AIPT, with some of the results to be presented at Lightfest in September.
Chris Plant was born in Birmingham. His work revolves around the production and use of bespoke tools to create and manipulate moving images and light. He was amongst the early pioneers of VJing; initially influenced by the projections of Mark Boyle and films of Stan Brakhage and Len Lye, he wanted to create visual instruments that could be played live like music, and immersive environments to saturate the senses. He still works with musicians, but also creates interactive and projection-mapped installations across the world. He has received several awards, the most recent being International Project of the Year-Exterior at the 2015 Lighting Design Awards for BCP Affinity in Peru (commissioned by the Claudia Paz Lighting studio – pictured above).
Lightfest is a European Researchers’ Night project, funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.